Saturday, March 20, 2010

Letter from parent (Fulton Place)

I have received many letters and emails over the past few weeks with regards to the possible school closures in the inner city and Hardisty areas.  This one  raised several good points so I asked the writer's permission to reprint it in my blog and he gave his consent.  

With recent news from the Minister of Education (click here:
about how the district calculates occupancy using the school utilization formula, it seems to be too quick a decision to close an already viable school, in order to save on longer term renovation costs. When schools are required to meet class size initiatives of 17 students for K-3 and 24 in 4-6, this contradicts the numbers that the district is using to calculate occupancy rates. The provincial formula assumes a classroom to have 30 students, which we all know is unacceptable in today’s elementary classrooms.

To me this remains a Hardisty school issue. Hardisty is clearly too big for this day and age. Sacrificing neighbouring schools to fill Hardisty’s hallways does not consider the health of the surrounding communities.

The school board and province need to think more creatively to keep schools in mature neighbourhoods open. The province also needs to recognize that schools serve students in much greater ways than in the past. They are homes to day-care centres, senior drop-in centres, and other community organizations. The province needs to recognize this and give credit to schools that are using their empty instructional space for the good of the community.

The province, city and school board are continuing to function with out-dated and traditional thinking about schools and their value in society. When will the school board, province, and city work together instead of passing the responsibility from one to another about mature neighbourhood schools? There are so many seniors in our area that would benefit from using the school, nevermind the overflowing Fulton Child Care Centre next door. The planning department with the Edmonton Public School Board is not thinking in an innovative way, by closing Fulton Place School. Making a K-9 at Hardisty is the easiest answer to the problem. It is also the most damaging to students and the community. Closure should be the last option. What other options have been tried first?

Urban sprawl is killing this city. We continue to grow sideways without considering the impact on the core of our city.

I respectfully ask for you to vote against closing Fulton Place School.

My mom used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Fulton Place School is alive, well, and an essential part of my community.

1 comment:

Fultonfriend said...

Planning department admits the only reason for closing Fulton is to fill up space at Hardisty. But, it won't be full, will it? They also cite continuing declining enrolment, so then where will we be? How does putting elementary kids in a building fix the junior high problem? It doesn't. Fix Hardisty, but don't break Fulton to do it. Mom was right.